Blog entry

Sure you'll be able to add your own content

Here is a check list to review before you let the client have a go.

That moment in time when you suggest to a client that they will be able to add their own content. It's quite straight forward you say, all you need to know is how to Copy & Paste. 

What else am I presuming? That the system has been set up with a WYSIWYG editor and it has been both enabled and configured. You know WYSIWYG is enabled when the familiar toolbar is at the top of the edit box. Oh, and yes I think it's safe to presume that your client is somewhat familiar with at least one word processing system.

A typical WYSIWYG Toolbar: 

What is there to explain?

Role Based Permissions

The account has been set up and proper permissions have been granted. You don't have to explain this part to the client but each account is assigned to one or more roles that provide access to certain parts of the system. There are some clients that you just don't want to give admin access to right away. It is not an insult to treat somebody like a Mac user. Being granted admin status can be more like granting root access to a Linux user. I think it's safe to assume that less is best for the new user for now.


Although I have not yet added dash-board to this relic of a Drupal 6 site it crosses my mind right now that I don't really want too spend much time training the new site owner, and dash-board may be worth my while installing as we alter the workflow for a new user.  After all this system is new to the new user and we are trying very hard to not scare him away.

Administration Menu

Before the advent of Dashboard, the Administration menu was the best way to display relevant options to a new user. When I think back to reasons why I avoided Administration menu for so long I should kick myself. There is nothing threating or unsightly about a simple thin black menu bar across the top of the screen for logged in users.

In fact the tutorial goes: Log in. You will see a menu at the top of the screen that lists all of your options. Pay close attention to Content (Drupal 7) or Content Management (Drupal 6) option and click there.  Look for Create Content or Add Content depending on your version and you are all set. Good to go.

End of lesson.

Are there any questions?

If it was only that simple I wouldn't be writing this check-list. The most common problems I have seen are formatting incongruencies and problems inserting images or media. There are so many options to choose from. What do you tell the client?

What is your comfort level?

There are so many levels of comfort when it comes to managing content that I tested my first theory out moments after I wrote it. I asked a friend if he had ever used a word processor.  "What is that?", he replied.

"Let me show you", I said.

For purposes of this check-list I will not go in to detail of that successful demonstration. Suffice to say we are assuming Copy & Paste and some Word Processing experience here.


This brings me to my next point of which Editor to install. Three or four are most common but let's get right to the point. We are installing a WYSIWYG editor for a client that probably doesn't know HTML. If the client knew HTML then they wouldn't need a WYSIWYG editor.

While I really like TinyMCE for a number of reasons especially for it's flexibility; let's face it Drupal 8 comes with CKEditor out of the box. Who are we to introduce complexity? Let's stick with CKEditor.

If you do not already have it installed and you too are setting up a new client on a legacy system here is a quick summary.

  1.  Download CKeditor module from Drupal.
  2.  Download full CKEditor from CKEditor site.
  3.  Unzip full CKEditor from CKEditor sites in sites/all/libraries

Paste from Word

The mysterious formatting option portrayed as a clip-board with a blue W on it is the Paste from Word option. I think this is a point that should be stressed to a new user. Paste from Word requires a well-formatted word document. By well-formatted I mean consistent font styles and sizes at the very least, and the use of default Styles ideally. I know many a writer that refuse to use Styles. Luckily that is not mandatory for Copy & Paste from Word. For my demonstration I will use a well formatted document and I will copy from Word (or Open Office...) and I will click the Paste from Word option. A funny looking text box will pop-up and I will paste. By default any text that was formatted with a format displayed in the option bar such as bold, or italic, or underline will display exactly as the original copy.

I will explain to the client that Paste from Word provides a syntax clean-up that will reduce introducing errant word-processing codes to a well-formed HTML document. As I imagine the clients eyes glazing over I will remember to check the CKEditor profile for Filtered HTML:

If enabled, the default paste function (CTRL-V or SHIFT-INS) behaves like the "paste from word" plugin function.

and not say anything at all.

Adding images

By default CKEditor comes with a very basic image handler. To be of much use to our new user we will have to provide some more options to this basic image handler that only allows you to paste in a link to an existing image. To make our new user happy and competent we should probably take that little extra step and install and configure two more modules. Again there are plenty to choose from but let's just go with IMCE and IMCE Wysiwyg bridge.

$ drush dl imce
Project imce (7.x-1.8) downloaded to sites/all/modules/imce.         [success]
$ drush dl imce_wysiwyg
Project imce_wysiwyg (7.x-1.0) downloaded to                               [success]

Be sure to provide the appropriate permissions to your new user's role. Then navigate to the Wysiwyg profiles / Configure client-side editors and enable the plugin "IMCE " for your selected CKEditor.

The environment is essentially ready for your new client. You may have to point out to them that to upload an image or photo from the server or their personal computer they will have to search for it. Hopefully our tech savy client will have no trouble with this step. Upload image from server

Sure, no problem I said. All you really need to know how to do is Copy & Paste.

You don't need to know how to use any HTML to use a WYSIWYG editor.



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